Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Forgotten Realms Products
 Forgotten Realms Book Club
 Blackstaff: Chapters 28 - 40
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Previous Page | Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 7

Cdawg
Acolyte

1 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2006 :  15:28:05  Show Profile  Visit Cdawg's Homepage Send Cdawg a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Steven,

Murderer! You killed Khelben! You'll pay for this!!! You'll rue the day you deprived the Realms of one of its most enigmatic master mages! RUE I tell you!
*tear*
More seriously, I thought the novel was fantastic. I hate that Khelben, my longstanding favorite wizard, is gone but if there was any way to properly send him off, you found it. The book was extremely well writter. I feel for Laeral and the unmentioned cast of characters that Khelben had touched over the course of his published life. Despite the creation of a new city of hope, Khelben's loss makes me feel like as a whole, the Realms have darkened that day. The 'fly in my soup' in the novel was the lack of resolution for the Dreamer, that although you covered on this board, seemed like a very glaring omission. Page constraints be damned thats a plot hole that you should have been allowed to address. Poor girl doesn't even get a body back, no future, nothing.


I was delighted by the portrayal of the highfire crown, something I had been hoping to see worked back into the Realms after various teasing mentions.
A couple quick questions that hopefully the NDA wont block.

As for Khelben's mewling understudy Tsarra, does she become Chosen? It seemed that Khelben had a very specific destiny that he had to fulfill, as well as aiding many others on their paths of destiny. Since his particular purpose(s) has been completed, would the inheritor of the Blackstaff in turn recieve stewardship of a portion of Mystra's silver fire?


With access to Khelben's memories and his knowledge quickly becoming more available to her, Tsarra eventually gain Khelben's mastery of magic? Will she basically learn wizardry straight from Khelben's mind? From a technical standpoint will she gain class levels in Wizard?
(forgive me, Im obsessed with stats because it helps me gain a relative understanding of characters in comparison to each other, although I know its not relevant to the story)

On a similar note (forgive me again), if the Highfire Crown gives the wearer access to the power of the thirteen surviving high mages of Myth Drannor after the departure of the grand mage Ualair the Silent, effectively how powerful would they become in relation to the fantastically powerful archmages like the Simbul, Elminster, Khelber, Szass Tam etc.


Go to Top of Page

Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1686 Posts

Posted - 18 Sep 2006 :  00:33:45  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cdawg

Steven,

Murderer! You killed Khelben! You'll pay for this!!! You'll rue the day you deprived the Realms of one of its most enigmatic master mages! RUE I tell you!
*tear*
More seriously, I thought the novel was fantastic. I hate that Khelben, my longstanding favorite wizard, is gone but if there was any way to properly send him off, you found it. The book was extremely well writter. I feel for Laeral and the unmentioned cast of characters that Khelben had touched over the course of his published life. Despite the creation of a new city of hope, Khelben's loss makes me feel like as a whole, the Realms have darkened that day. The 'fly in my soup' in the novel was the lack of resolution for the Dreamer, that although you covered on this board, seemed like a very glaring omission. Page constraints be damned thats a plot hole that you should have been allowed to address. Poor girl doesn't even get a body back, no future, nothing.


Sorry about Dreamer's lack of resolution; maybe I should think about a story for Dragon set in Rhymanthiin using her as a character.....hmmm....

quote:

I was delighted by the portrayal of the highfire crown, something I had been hoping to see worked back into the Realms after various teasing mentions.
A couple quick questions that hopefully the NDA wont block.

As for Khelben's mewling understudy Tsarra, does she become Chosen? It seemed that Khelben had a very specific destiny that he had to fulfill, as well as aiding many others on their paths of destiny. Since his particular purpose(s) has been completed, would the inheritor of the Blackstaff in turn recieve stewardship of a portion of Mystra's silver fire?


No, Tsarra does not become a Chosen (if I have anything to say about it).

Now, about that mewling crack, Nameless would like to have a word or three with ye.

quote:

With access to Khelben's memories and his knowledge quickly becoming more available to her, Tsarra eventually gain Khelben's mastery of magic? Will she basically learn wizardry straight from Khelben's mind? From a technical standpoint will she gain class levels in Wizard?
(forgive me, Im obsessed with stats because it helps me gain a relative understanding of characters in comparison to each other, although I know its not relevant to the story)



Nope, she's not going to learn wizardry, as she's neither wired that way nor does she wish to. She'll be able to absorb and use some of Khelben's spells as a sorcerer does, but as she said in the book, wizards turn molehills into mountains to make spells, and she vastly prefers going by her gut with magic.

quote:

On a similar note (forgive me again), if the Highfire Crown gives the wearer access to the power of the thirteen surviving high mages of Myth Drannor after the departure of the grand mage Ualair the Silent, effectively how powerful would they become in relation to the fantastically powerful archmages like the Simbul, Elminster, Khelber, Szass Tam etc.



They are as powerful as a combined group of 13 High Mages can be, which outshines most if not all those gentles you mentioned and perhaps at least the ones listed combined (though not if a few more Chosen were in the mix). Remember that the power lasts only as long as all 13 gems are whirling in place and working in concordance. This was the 2nd recorded appearance of the Highfire Crown; while there might be others, this is only the 2nd time it's appeared and was noticed by more than 40 people in 34 score years. It obviously doesn't come together too often, or if it does, it realigns in private or secret places, doing things with (or perhaps without) a host who's left without memory of what has been done. Perhaps the Highfire Crown is going around repairing aging mythals...or perhaps Khelben and others had hidden away the selukiira for safety and to ensure they'd be on hand to call the others together for rituals such as this.

Who knows? You do as the GM (that's General Manager of your own Realms).

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
Go to Top of Page

ShadowJack
Senior Scribe

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2006 :  16:24:18  Show Profile  Visit ShadowJack's Homepage Send ShadowJack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow! Mr. Schend, Great book! I have always enjoyed your sourcebooks, and, I must admit, I was leery to pick up Blackstaff for fear of being disappointed... I was not! Awesome first FR novel! A few questions for any sages...

1. What is the HighFire Crown and where has it appeared before?

2. Tsarra makes mention of the Lost Library of Cormanthyr as if it has never been found? Are the events of the novel Lost Library of Cormanthyr not canon? Or am I forgetting something from my quick read of the book years ago?

Anyway great book. You are one of three of my favorite Realms authors...

ShadowJack
Go to Top of Page

Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2006 :  17:00:28  Show Profile Send Kuje a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ShadowJack

Wow! Mr. Schend, Great book! I have always enjoyed your sourcebooks, and, I must admit, I was leery to pick up Blackstaff for fear of being disappointed... I was not! Awesome first FR novel! A few questions for any sages...

1. What is the HighFire Crown and where has it appeared before?

2. Tsarra makes mention of the Lost Library of Cormanthyr as if it has never been found? Are the events of the novel Lost Library of Cormanthyr not canon? Or am I forgetting something from my quick read of the book years ago?

Anyway great book. You are one of three of my favorite Realms authors...



1) The Fall of Myth Drannor sourcebook from 2e. :)

2) Steven can answer.

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
Go to Top of Page

Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2006 :  19:09:29  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Congratulations, Steven!

I bought Blackstaff a couple of weeks ago (my regional library had their copy still in the cataloguing department ). I must note that it was a great book - I particularly enjoyed the dialogue between characters. The way Nain mentally collapsed and wailed at Khelben when he was given a Blackstaff... that was priceless!
Great job! Now we are waiting anxiously for your next novel. (I hope Blackstaff sells well).

I also have a question: according to Blackstaff, the Year of Lightning Storms was apparently named after the events described in the book. However, Dragons of Faerûn notes that this year was named so after Bhaelros unleashed his fury at Calimport, hurling lightnings at the city for a month. Did you know about this when you wrote Blackstaff, and did you and Eric intend the year to be named after both of these events? (DoF didn't mention the events of Blackstaff at all)

"What am I doing today? Ask me tomorrow - I can be sure of giving you the right answer then."
-- Askarran of Selgaunt, Master Sage, speaking to a curious merchant, Year of the Helm
Go to Top of Page

Evander
Acolyte

1 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2006 :  06:05:29  Show Profile  Visit Evander's Homepage Send Evander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just wanted to take this moment to be one of many to congratulate Steven on the great book. I haven't finished the book yet (so close! ... yet so little time), but when a friend told me she heard a rumor that Khelben was dead ... well, I just had to confirm.

When I first read the comments about his death, and talked to other people about it, initial comments were "Surely he has a clone in stasis somewhere" or, more commonly, "No, not Blackstaff!" followed by screams of agony. I had many of the similar thoughts (especially since his death bears nearly immediate implications for my Waterdeep campaign...), but soon came to the realization that a) Khelben would not have wanted to live forever b) he likely has made clear plans as to what should happen be ready to pass on and, more importantly c) it would seriously undermine the sacrifce which he made which I've heard so much about.

I'm curious, though, and was wondering if you could answer (provided NDA's aren't restricting you...):
Is Laeral going to return to Waterdeep and Blackstaff Tower?
If she doesn't/wouldn't, are there other notables among the Blackstaff Hierarchy that would run things from here on out?
Go to Top of Page

Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1686 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2006 :  11:36:32  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ShadowJack

Wow! Mr. Schend, Great book! I have always enjoyed your sourcebooks, and, I must admit, I was leery to pick up Blackstaff for fear of being disappointed... I was not! Awesome first FR novel! A few questions for any sages...

1. What is the HighFire Crown and where has it appeared before?

2. Tsarra makes mention of the Lost Library of Cormanthyr as if it has never been found? Are the events of the novel Lost Library of Cormanthyr not canon? Or am I forgetting something from my quick read of the book years ago?

Anyway great book. You are one of three of my favorite Realms authors...



Everything on the Highfire Crown is in FALL OF MYTH DRANNOR, as well as its only appearance.

The events of Lost Library are canon and long done, if I'm remembering correctly.

Please tell me the reference (page #) on that Lost Library note; I don't recall making any reference to it myself, though parts of the novel are more than 18 months old, and me brains are old and weary... It may be an offhand comment of hers that meant to refer to Uvaeren, the "lost library city of the elves," but I'd have to see the exact reference to know what I was talking about. (And yes, this is the problem of working from 4 different computers and the manuscript is only on the one that doesn't have internet access...).

Hope to resolve these questions soon....

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
Go to Top of Page

Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1686 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2006 :  11:43:28  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Asgetrion

Congratulations, Steven!

I bought Blackstaff a couple of weeks ago (my regional library had their copy still in the cataloguing department ). I must note that it was a great book - I particularly enjoyed the dialogue between characters. The way Nain mentally collapsed and wailed at Khelben when he was given a Blackstaff... that was priceless!


Glad you enjoyed the book, Astegrion. I worried over the dialogue as my words sometimes get too stilted--I blame too many comic books and Stan Lee's sometimes-florid dialogue for starting me early on over-the-top statements and action. No wonder I turned out a huge fan of the pulps as well....

As for Nain, I'd love to write more with him, but he's really not my character, nor is there much call from WotC to write him. Still, I wonder if I could scribble something for Dragon and get Ed's (and through him, Nain's original player's) okay to do so....hmmm....scuse me....

quote:

Great job! Now we are waiting anxiously for your next novel. (I hope Blackstaff sells well).

I also have a question: according to Blackstaff, the Year of Lightning Storms was apparently named after the events described in the book. However, Dragons of Faerûn notes that this year was named so after Bhaelros unleashed his fury at Calimport, hurling lightnings at the city for a month. Did you know about this when you wrote Blackstaff, and did you and Eric intend the year to be named after both of these events? (DoF didn't mention the events of Blackstaff at all)



No, I didn't know about it beforehand.

Yes, it's not unheard of for Alaundo's prophecies to have a number of different ways they're interpreted/seen. Heck, there's probably some other lightning aspected major event that could have happened in Shou Lung or Maztica to give us a trifecta of reasons why it's the Year of Lightning Storms.

Khelben, of course, thought his study of Alaundo's prophecies and his presence within his lightning-soaked plot made him the sole focus of that prophecy, but he's just being slightly arrogant there.

As for Eric's and my intentions, you assume we plot and scheme in the backshadows and by phone to obfuscate and confuse? We'd never do that, would we, Eric?

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
Go to Top of Page

Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1686 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2006 :  11:56:48  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Evander

I just wanted to take this moment to be one of many to congratulate Steven on the great book. I haven't finished the book yet (so close! ... yet so little time), but when a friend told me she heard a rumor that Khelben was dead ... well, I just had to confirm.

When I first read the comments about his death, and talked to other people about it, initial comments were "Surely he has a clone in stasis somewhere" or, more commonly, "No, not Blackstaff!" followed by screams of agony. I had many of the similar thoughts (especially since his death bears nearly immediate implications for my Waterdeep campaign...), but soon came to the realization that a) Khelben would not have wanted to live forever b) he likely has made clear plans as to what should happen be ready to pass on and, more importantly c) it would seriously undermine the sacrifce which he made which I've heard so much about.

I'm curious, though, and was wondering if you could answer (provided NDA's aren't restricting you...):
Is Laeral going to return to Waterdeep and Blackstaff Tower?
If she doesn't/wouldn't, are there other notables among the Blackstaff Hierarchy that would run things from here on out?



Your reasoning is spot-on in terms of Khelben's plans et al.

FIrst, I have to acknowledge that I've got no control over what WotC or another author does with Laeral. That said, I assume she'll have some minimal contact with Blackstaff Tower, if only to claim some of her things sent over to the new Blackstaff Tower (whose elven name I'm blanking on, as I've not had coffee yet) in Rhymanthiin. If it were up to me, Laeral wouldn't set foot in Blackstaff Tower for the next 5-10 years at the least--the pain's too raw (and as another example, reread how she reacted to his death in Stornanter). But I've learned to never say never.....especially since I don't get to write the Adventures of Laeral and the Blackstaff's Babies.

As I've stated in this thread (or maybe it's over on my folders), Malchor Harpell, Kyriani Agrivar, and other Moonstars will help Tsarra maintain the illusions as long as possible that Khelben and Laeral are still around, "just too busy for visitors or other matters and oft away on missions a bit removed from this reality." Tsarra will be, in effect, the Master/Mistress of Blackstaff Tower, though she may only confess this reality to the 4 oldest apprentices in the tower, if any, to recruit their help in dodging the questions.

Remember that Tsarra can dredge through Khelben's memories in total, so with time, she can find out anything he'd planned, thought, or done with apprentices, spells, etc. She can, with time, find out every secret he ever knew about Waterdeep, and thus access places and things she never knew about.

The big secret of Khelben's death is known only to those in the Blackstaff Ritual at the book's climax and those who live in Rhymanthiin. While this numbers more than a thousand, all but 72 of them have no life outside of that hidden city. And those outsiders all have good reasons for keeping this a secret.

Last but not least, you can imagine what would happen to Waterdeep, should it be revealed too soon that Khelben the Blackstaff no longer protects the city, yes? THAT is the main reason why Tsarra will pose as Khelben publicly for as long as she can (including the rest of her lifetime, if need be and if she can).

Steven
who notes that soon enough, Tsarra will take to illusion-cloaking that kiira of hers for both propriety's sake and for keeping its secrets hidden

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
Go to Top of Page

The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2006 :  13:36:23  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

Everything on the Highfire Crown is in FALL OF MYTH DRANNOR, as well as its only appearance.
Which is available as a free download at WotC:- http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dnd/downloads

Take that Wooly.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
Go to Top of Page

ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
2007 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2006 :  13:56:11  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

quote:
Originally posted by Asgetrion


I also have a question: according to Blackstaff, the Year of Lightning Storms was apparently named after the events described in the book. However, Dragons of Faerûn notes that this year was named so after Bhaelros unleashed his fury at Calimport, hurling lightnings at the city for a month. Did you know about this when you wrote Blackstaff, and did you and Eric intend the year to be named after both of these events? (DoF didn't mention the events of Blackstaff at all)



No, I didn't know about it beforehand.

Yes, it's not unheard of for Alaundo's prophecies to have a number of different ways they're interpreted/seen. Heck, there's probably some other lightning aspected major event that could have happened in Shou Lung or Maztica to give us a trifecta of reasons why it's the Year of Lightning Storms.

Khelben, of course, thought his study of Alaundo's prophecies and his presence within his lightning-soaked plot made him the sole focus of that prophecy, but he's just being slightly arrogant there.

As for Eric's and my intentions, you assume we plot and scheme in the backshadows and by phone to obfuscate and confuse? We'd never do that, would we, Eric?



Never!!! I deny everything!!! (BTW Steven, I don't think we finished our discussion last week before I had to run. Another chat this weekend?)

Never assume you know "the truth" about the motivation for a year name in the Roll of Years. In fact, I deliberately try to pose as many possibilities for each year name as a I can.

There are at least three interpretations of the Year of Lightning Storms in print, and probably a dozen more that the DM could come up with. (Events in Blackstaff, Events in Calimshan, continent-wide rain of meteors mentioned in DoF are the 3 I'm thinking of.)

--Eric

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
Go to Top of Page

Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2006 :  16:52:47  Show Profile Send Kuje a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Aye Steven,

There was a passage in your book, cause I saw it to and went, hmmm, that read something like, "The Lost Library of Cormanthor." So, I to thought that it was in reference to that library by how it was capitalized.

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
Go to Top of Page

Raelan
Acolyte

USA
49 Posts

Posted - 30 Sep 2006 :  22:20:48  Show Profile  Visit Raelan's Homepage Send Raelan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
...especially since I don't get to write the Adventures of Laeral and the Blackstaff's Babies.


Methinks Scribe Schend has just let something slip - namely the word "babies", plural. More than one. Twins/triplets/quadruplets/whatever.

"I am convinced that one of these days I will be able to run a regular game that doesn't fall apart due to scheduling conflicts. I am also convinced that, on this day, hell will freeze over."
Go to Top of Page

Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 30 Sep 2006 :  22:38:02  Show Profile Send Kuje a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Raelan

quote:
...especially since I don't get to write the Adventures of Laeral and the Blackstaff's Babies.


Methinks Scribe Schend has just let something slip - namely the word "babies", plural. More than one. Twins/triplets/quadruplets/whatever.



Well, she is with child with twins, it says so in Blackstaff. :)

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
Go to Top of Page

Raelan
Acolyte

USA
49 Posts

Posted - 30 Sep 2006 :  22:40:56  Show Profile  Visit Raelan's Homepage Send Raelan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Well, she is with child with twins, it says so in Blackstaff. :)





Um...I missed that part, somehow.

-goes back and rereads Blackstaff, which is an enjoyable pasttime anyway-

"I am convinced that one of these days I will be able to run a regular game that doesn't fall apart due to scheduling conflicts. I am also convinced that, on this day, hell will freeze over."
Go to Top of Page

Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1686 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2006 :  20:58:47  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kuje

Aye Steven,

There was a passage in your book, cause I saw it to and went, hmmm, that read something like, "The Lost Library of Cormanthor." So, I to thought that it was in reference to that library by how it was capitalized.



Ah. I did find that reference, and my original text just mentioned elven libraries in a general and broad sense. I guess Phil slipped in the reference to the Lost Library, which is fine.

And yes, it's canonical, the events of that so-named novel; it's up in the air as to who knows what about the library or the hero. Given that she now has Khelben's memories, I suspect Tsarra knows at least as much about it as anyone who's read that novel.

Steven
who read Lost Library in 1st draft for continuity but it's been so long, he only really remembers the azmyth clearly and little else...

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
Go to Top of Page

Haman
Seeker

USA
60 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2006 :  21:30:41  Show Profile  Visit Haman's Homepage Send Haman a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well met,

First off, I just want to assure all that I have no intent to "flame" or "blast" Mr. Schend for his work or writing, just to add criticism that in no way should be taken personal. My opinion is but one, and I speak for no one but myself. I've witnessed over the years many posters getting torn apart if they speak against any FR work, as so many of the fans are turly die-hard Realms nuts (and I count myself as one too!) and believe that nothing can be wrong with what comes out. I don't hold to that, personally. I love the Realms and to this day still think it's by far the best system ever concieved and developed. The work done by Greenwood, Schend, Boyd, Cunningham, and so many others is fantastic...though every once in awhile I come upon something and ask myself "Why, by the grace of Mystra, did they choose to go there?!" This would be one of those times.

First with the praise:
-The writing was good. Seriously. For your first novel, Mr. Schend, I was VERY impressed with it's structure and telling, it didn't feel like a first novel at all. Thank you for the work.
-For me, the book had a "2nd Edition" feel for me, and I loved that. Since the 3.0 conversion, the Realms seemed to take a different path with it's products and novels, along the path that all 3.0 products were going. Stats and "crunchy" bits were focused on, storylines and issues were faded out. New products came out totally reworking the old areas we knew and loved, instead of simple enhancement and updates. New areas and new storylines were explored stressing on conflict and magic, not character and culture. "Blackstaff" for me, felt like that old magic again, revisiting beloved characters and putting them in a rich spotlight. I've recommended this novel to many of my old friends that dropped away from the Realms when it made it's 3.0 converion (which, saddly, were many).
-I think the idea of a lost Elven city returning is great, and will be thinking up many storylines for my players when the appropriate accessories come out....they will be right? Your novel focused on what I wanted to see for the future of the Realms. Again, thank you.

The criticism:
-Khelben is dead. Why? I have loved the Realms as a setting since I picked up "Code of the Harpers" so many years ago, and it's not that I have the attitude that such iconic characters are "Holy" and "Untouchable". I have no qualms with a character getting "bumped off" for a storyline and when the plot calls for it....I do have a problem with a "Character Type" getting removed though. Let me explain; Khelben was one of the few "Super-Powered, Chosen, Really Old, butt kicker" forces of good that seemed to reflect his age and experiences. The Realms is filled with the "Elminster" types of characters that blaze around the Realms fixing all they can, all in the name of good. They show up, say something witty, and save the day. They are good to the core, and can be understood by us, the reader....when they shouldn't be. Khelben, for me, was not like that. He had been written as fairly mysterious...and not like the mysterious type that we can eventually pick apart and understand, but in the way that his experiences and age put him on a level where we would never be able to understand him. He was the enigma that reflected his age....meybe he'd show up, maybe he'd save the day...maybe he wouldn't. I mean, trading artifacts to Fzoul? How many of the cookie-cutter "Elminster" types would do that?! He was the Realms "Man in Black", the character type was brilliantly written and conceived....now it's gone. I do feel that the Realms lost some uniqueness since his death. And on a side note, please don't take this wrong (or imply I mean it as a "mean spirited" comment), but having the excuse of "Well Tsarra now has all his memories and can pose as him as long as needed" is insulting and cheapens his death. So what if the Realms is thrown into Chaos with his passing, and the bad guys rampage all over Waterdeep...thats what the Elminsters are for.

I hope you can see that I mean no disrespect in all of this, nor anything personal. I think I own every bit of material you've produced, and I don't do that for authors/designers I feel are not talented. You simply made a choice (though I strongly felt the spirits of Greenwood, Cunningham, and Boyd in the writing...for some strange reason), and I disagree with it. Thank you for listening, and thank you for all you've done for the Realms.

-Haman
*Who set aside money for the "City of Hope" accessory*

Some people say we gamers have no lives....I think we have too many.
Go to Top of Page

Reefy
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
892 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2006 :  21:54:27  Show Profile  Visit Reefy's Homepage Send Reefy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Haman, I think you've got Elminster badly pigeon-holed there. I'm not the person to be talking about the Old Mage really as I'll admit my knowledge of him is fairly limited, not least for not actually having read any of Ed's Elminster series of novels. But I'm sure Ed will be happy to talk more about him in his questions thread, there are probably plenty of odds and ends about him round here, and other sages, not least Steven, I'm sure will try and give a better idea of his character. I certainly don't see an 'Elminster type'.

Life is either daring adventure or nothing.
Go to Top of Page

Haman
Seeker

USA
60 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2006 :  01:00:36  Show Profile  Visit Haman's Homepage Send Haman a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My apologies, I think I'd best clarify what I meant by "Elminster-Type". First off, I meant no slight to Ed's writings or characters in any way. I was attempting to narrow down a "Character Type" when I speak of El & the 7, not insult them.

But let's face facts, there are several similarities in those characters, enough that we can "type" them, or as you say "pigeon-hole" them (though that term seems to have a negative conotation, which I'm not too comfortable with). 1) They are basically immortal, being Chosen and all. 2) They are overtly GOOD, and act accordingly. 3) They are masters/mistress' of Arcane might. 4) Their behavior is predictable. They seem to employ the same 'recipe' whenever dealing with an issue/conflict: Empathy for the victim of the conflict, witty banter, a comment or two thrown in on how said victim will understand once they've lived as long as they have or experienced as much as they have, and a resolution of the issue/conflict in such a way that the bad guy/opposing force never saw coming and most likely is achieved in the simplest way.

When I talk of "Elminster Types" I refer to, of course: Elminster, Storm, Alustriel, Laeral, Dove, Qilue, and Sylune....perhaps even the Srinshee. (Yes, the Simbul is not in that category, in my opinion.)

Maybe it's that they've been written 99% of the time by just one author/creator. Maybe it's because Ed chooses to write in such a style that gives us more access to inner personal thoughts. I don't know. What I do know, is that Khelben didn't share those qualities, at least to me. His "Character Type" was fairly unique in the Realms. Now it's gone, and a void has been created, one in which I don't think can be adequately filled. And that, I think, is the main point of my posts: A void was created, and was inadequately filled. Sometimes it works, and the designers can fill in a void with new, innovative ideas, such as the death and birth of Gods during the ToT, and sometimes it can't be.

Call me heartless, but the Realms would be a lot more attractive to new gamers and old collectors with Khelben in it, then say Laeral or any of the others I mentioned as "Elminster Types" (Barring Elminster himself, of course *wink*).

-Haman

P.S. I've learned a long time ago never to reveal anything personal on the World Wide Web, but I'll part with one true fact: My Black Lab was born with just a touch of white on his chin and chest...so what did I name him? You got it, Khelben. Did I take the Man in Blacks death too personal? Hell yes.

Some people say we gamers have no lives....I think we have too many.
Go to Top of Page

Crust
Learned Scribe

USA
273 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2006 :  18:45:52  Show Profile  Visit Crust's Homepage Send Crust a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Haman,

I understand what you mean by "Elminster type." The "Supermen/women" who are unquestioningly good. There are a lot of them. Khelben was more of a "Batman" type, and there aren't many of those in FR novels (Cale perhaps?).

"That's right, hurl back views that force ye to think by name-calling - 'tis the grand old tradition, let it not down! Anything to keep from having to think, or - Mystra forfend - change thy own views!"

Narnra glowered at her father. "Just how am I to learn how to think? By being taught by you?"

"Some folk in the Realms would give their lives for the chance to learn at my feet," Elminster said mildly. "Several already have."

~from Elminster's Daughter, Ed Greenwood
Go to Top of Page

Beirnadri Magranth
Senior Scribe

USA
720 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2006 :  23:15:44  Show Profile  Visit Beirnadri Magranth's Homepage Send Beirnadri Magranth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Firstly- I loved this book.

Secondly- I am gunna reply to six pages of previous posts that I hadn't read until now, so here goes:


quote:
Originally posted by Haman

-Haman
*Who set aside money for the "City of Hope" accessory*


...As do I *cha-ching*


quote:
Originally posted by KnightErrantJR


(and why would Raegar, raised in the Realms, assume that there is no air outside of Toril's atmosphere . . . not a bit deal, that one, just wondering)



When I read that I put down the book for more than a half hour because I was so mad.


quote:
Originally posted by KnightErrantJR


Oh, just thought of something else . . . if the elves of Miyeritaar that would have become drow are still under the judgement of Corellon if they were to abandon their sharn forms, this gets me to thinking . . .


Yeah I thought about the different scenarios of that mention. I think though, none of the Dark Elves would want to be Dhaerow... so everyone one of them remains. If they would didn't change into Dhaerow then a whole problem arises with why did all the Dark Elves at the time become Drow in the first place? It doesn't seem fair. But then again if the Sharn-form Dark Elves become Dhaerow upon resuming their former selves, even now... then you can't help but thinking the spell used in the Descent and Transformation is a constant effect. A large global mythal much like the Dracorage. I think a lot of personal campaigns could use that as a plot-hook.


quote:
Originally posted by KnightErrantJR


Don't call him that! (Sorry, I loved how Khelben kept saying that when Tsarra would call him the Frostrune)


I loved that too!


quote:
Originally posted by WoolyRupert



quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend


Yes, the staff acts as a spelljamming helm (and a tip of the hat in my using my oldest D&D character as a Spelljammer mouthpiece way back in Dragon 1990). Yes it drained spells; he flew by use of an item.



That was a nice touch! I didn't recognize Gamalon in the prologue until I actually had the novel in my hand -- that's when the gem for an eye part caught my attention. When he actually came on-screen, I was happy to see that you'd managed to use him!

Hmmm... Maybe I should dust off my first character and use him for something. I only got to play him twice, and my original character sheet for him disappeared years ago, but neither fact is a real impediment...


Wait! Wooly, did you make the character Gamalon?


quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend


quote:
Originally posted by BobROE

Did the ritual clense the entire high moor? Or just the area in and around the city?


It's very specific--they only managed to cleanse the area between all the 9 sentinel tors and the city. Thus, there's now a clean patch along the shores of the lake about 50 miles in diameter and it'll continue to grow about an inch a month until all is restored a few centuries from now unless circumstances change.

SES



I sorta get the feeling that it's similar to the magic used to drain away the fertility of Netheril's lands... the reverse of anauroch.


quote:
Originally posted by GothicDan


Ualair is mine, Rino. My mystical, silent, sexy elf. You back off.

*Shifty eyes.*


I'm not sure 'sexy' is the word for the spirit of an ancient elf... but then again
Daniphae promised to mate with a Chasme in War of the Spider Queen.


quote:
Originally posted by StevenSchend


quote:
Originally posted by Xysma



At the end of the book when everyone is being cleansed or healed or what have you, it mentions that Ashemmi was purified of the evil that Manshoon had corrupted her with. Is that a new concept, or have I missed something? I always thought she was just plain evil.



New concept, but Ed didn't mind it when I tossed it out at him, so I went with it. As is my theory that Sememmon's on his way to being an anti-hero rather than a villain, but it may take some time.....

I'd love the chance to follow up on this, but we'll see what the future holds when we get there.

Steven


I absolutely love the moral shades of grey presented in this book. I love the idea of working with deposed villains. One thing I don't want to see is Semmi or Ashemmi becoming truly good. I think they are interesting becuase of the conflict within them. I would be so bored if they turned into regular villains or regular good guys.


Thirdly- here are comments of my own:


1- I was wondering, and I think I posted this before in a different thread but, just how does Halaster's actions effect the ritual. I mean in a way I think that Priamon's suitability for being a receptacle of the 'Killing Storm' played on the fact that he was a lich. I thought the eternal power of his phylactery somehow allowed him to survive the energy, constantly being destroyed and renewed until all the power would be built up within him and then disposed of. Anyway, even I obviously can't speak for High Magic ritual practices but if the HighMoors are supposed to continue to clear up- then it would seem that we need to keep using the lich who is mainly given strength by his phylactery which is presumably destroyed by Halaster. Also I thought that Halaster snatched the lich away form the ritual at that moment so did that haev any consequences or no?

2- The entire ritual seemed somehow evil to me. I mean here is a group of hideously powerful mages who have had millenia to plan for this event and the best solution they come up with is to lure a foolish and petty mageling into a trap (As Khelben himself says he set up the false treasure hunt for Priamon). Instead of helping him develop maturely they leave him to spiral into wickedness and greed. Eventually they work in collusion with other evil wizards to steal the magelings magic and bind him as a slave to their ritual. His forced part is to be a vessel for the one of the most abhorrent magics to ever be worked in the Realms! It reaks of sacrifice and a reverse 'virgin-theme' in dark rituals.

3- Good touch with the HighFire crown! I love items that are seen as beings rather than tools.

4- I wish WotC would let you authors write longer novels. Everyone hear seems to agree with you that you could have expanded upon the events here. It' pretty evident that we would be willing to read and pay more for more writing from you guys!

5- I was really surprised to see that the ritual met with no real opposition. I would think that contingencies of evil beings over the course of history allowed something significant to happen to the ritual members. In one sense I can see that whoever was aware was also not powerful enough to deal with all of the Epics in participation. Also I kinda liked a book that didn't follow the formula of 'developing problem and later resolution'. I mean, It's refreshing to read this as a history... not a lesson in D&D game mechanics. So all in all I'm torn!

6- Since the raised city is the Library City of Miyeritar is there any possibility we will get to see it relate to Kraanhoafer's (sp?) Door?

"You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory... instead you will die with a whimper."
::moussaoui tries to interrupt::
"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

-Judge Brinkema
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36141 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2006 :  00:05:37  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Beirnadri Magranth


quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

That was a nice touch! I didn't recognize Gamalon in the prologue until I actually had the novel in my hand -- that's when the gem for an eye part caught my attention. When he actually came on-screen, I was happy to see that you'd managed to use him!

Hmmm... Maybe I should dust off my first character and use him for something. I only got to play him twice, and my original character sheet for him disappeared years ago, but neither fact is a real impediment...


Wait! Wooly, did you make the character Gamalon?


Nope. Gamalon was, as discussed elsewhere, Steven's first character. The fact that he was using his first D&D character in a novel made me ponder using my first D&D character for something.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

Dhomal
Senior Scribe

USA
565 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2006 :  08:15:35  Show Profile Send Dhomal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello-

Two or so hours later - and I have read 5+ pages on the final section of your bookclub entries.

Truly superb.

My knowledge of Realms Lore is large, but pales in light of a novel like this. There were references all over that I could not nail down completely.

Over time - they will come to me - as I read or re-read other products and such. I am glad to read that other scribes have started to make lore-lists of the information in the novel.

Too many good bits to mention them all. I will make one comment that I dont beleive was mentioned yet:

p240/1 When Tsarra was 'tracking' Frostrune. Khelben is described as looking like a "..silver duskwood tree.." and then on the next page - she sees in the Ardeep - seeing another silver tree there "... had fallen but was still alive with silver energy."

Is this a reference to something known, that *I* dont know of - or a drop of additional mystery?

Another thought I had - in a blinding rush - but was apparently dashed in the following section - I saw the taint, the poison, all assembling in the Frostrune's body - and had a mental image of a re-born Moander, somewhat as a dichotomy to the good being done. I am happy to say that this does not seem to be the case - though I could have seen it easilly. :)

In any case - this is one of the best books I have read in a long while. I would recomend it to any Realms fan! As (IIRC) Wooly said on P1 - I too liked the name "Force Grey" - and was pleased to see the name return, though truth be told - in my game - it would not have changed! (if it ever actually came into play.)

I will admit here - that I teared up and cried a little as I realized what was happening at the end. For the loss of Khelben. For the restoration of Hope. Thats not sometihng that happens often for me. I dont think of myself as 'cold' normally - just that I can usually disconnect emotions while reading fiction - but sometimes - it comes through and bites me! :) The only other point I can clearly remember this happening is near the end of the 6th Thomas Covenant book. It is, in my opinion - a Great accolade to place on you - having made me cry. (*And I was at Work of all places, my lunch almost over!*)

I eagerly await reading more from you. Sourcebooks, Novels, whatever it may be. :)

And Oh - to be in a conference call with you and Mr. Boyd and others!

Best regards,

Dhomal

I am collecting the D&D Minis. I would be more than willing to trade with people. You can send me a PM here with your email listed - and I can send you my minis list. Thanks!

Successfully traded with Xysma!
Go to Top of Page

George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6477 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2006 :  10:59:14  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dhomal

p240/1 When Tsarra was 'tracking' Frostrune. Khelben is described as looking like a "..silver duskwood tree.." and then on the next page - she sees in the Ardeep - seeing another silver tree there "... had fallen but was still alive with silver energy."

Is this a reference to something known, that *I* dont know of - or a drop of additional mystery?



This is a reference to Aloevan of Ardeep, former Chosen of both Mystra and Sehanine.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
Go to Top of Page

Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1686 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2006 :  03:06:51  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Beirnadri Magranth

Firstly- I loved this book.



Thank you.

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by WoolyRupert



quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend


Yes, the staff acts as a spelljamming helm (and a tip of the hat in my using my oldest D&D character as a Spelljammer mouthpiece way back in Dragon 1990). Yes it drained spells; he flew by use of an item.



That was a nice touch! I didn't recognize Gamalon in the prologue until I actually had the novel in my hand -- that's when the gem for an eye part caught my attention. When he actually came on-screen, I was happy to see that you'd managed to use him!

Hmmm... Maybe I should dust off my first character and use him for something. I only got to play him twice, and my original character sheet for him disappeared years ago, but neither fact is a real impediment...


Wait! Wooly, did you make the character Gamalon?


Nope; Gamalon's the first D&D character I ever created or played. He was also the first character I wrote into the Realms as a professional writer (in a Dragon article on Spelljamming items).


quote:

I absolutely love the moral shades of grey presented in this book. I love the idea of working with deposed villains. One thing I don't want to see is Semmi or Ashemmi becoming truly good. I think they are interesting becuase of the conflict within them. I would be so bored if they turned into regular villains or regular good guys.



Well, Sememmon's got a long road to hoe before he gets anywhere near being called good. Ashemmi's a lot more neutral; think of her as slighly more to the dark side of the way Khelben used to be, and that's closer to the mark. I'd LOVE to write more with them, but don't know when I'll get the chance.

quote:

1- I was wondering, and I think I posted this before in a different thread but, just how does Halaster's actions effect the ritual. I mean in a way I think that Priamon's suitability for being a receptacle of the 'Killing Storm' played on the fact that he was a lich. I thought the eternal power of his phylactery somehow allowed him to survive the energy, constantly being destroyed and renewed until all the power would be built up within him and then disposed of. Anyway, even I obviously can't speak for High Magic ritual practices but if the HighMoors are supposed to continue to clear up- then it would seem that we need to keep using the lich who is mainly given strength by his phylactery which is presumably destroyed by Halaster. Also I thought that Halaster snatched the lich away form the ritual at that moment so did that haev any consequences or no?



Priamon was necessary for the process that Khelben set up; once that was accomplished (the killing storms released and transformed, the worst of it going into Priamon), the high magic rituals (two of them) didn't need him, and Khelben had set up a backdoor for Halaster to claim Priamon when it was done (that whole sending the bird down into Undermountain scene with M. Wands).

Yes, it's a bit of a tangle time-wise, but that was what I intended.

quote:

2- The entire ritual seemed somehow evil to me. I mean here is a group of hideously powerful mages who have had millenia to plan for this event and the best solution they come up with is to lure a foolish and petty mageling into a trap (As Khelben himself says he set up the false treasure hunt for Priamon). Instead of helping him develop maturely they leave him to spiral into wickedness and greed. Eventually they work in collusion with other evil wizards to steal the magelings magic and bind him as a slave to their ritual. His forced part is to be a vessel for the one of the most abhorrent magics to ever be worked in the Realms! It reaks of sacrifice and a reverse 'virgin-theme' in dark rituals.



Well, not to disagree, but Priamon's not dead. Halaster's far more imaginative than that, and it does neither of them any good to simply destroy him. Besides, his phylactery's intact--just in the hands of the person who most wants to hurt him. And that's going to be a learning experience for him.

A little dark? Yes, true. And that was Khelben in a nutshell--how to protect the most, punish those who deserve it, and don't get hung up on what others expect about things.

quote:

3- Good touch with the HighFire crown! I love items that are seen as beings rather than tools.

4- I wish WotC would let you authors write longer novels. Everyone hear seems to agree with you that you could have expanded upon the events here. It' pretty evident that we would be willing to read and pay more for more writing from you guys!



Thanks on both counts; bear in mind that BLACKSTAFF is about 20-30% longer than it was supposed to be (which is why the type's so small).

quote:

5- I was really surprised to see that the ritual met with no real opposition. I would think that contingencies of evil beings over the course of history allowed something significant to happen to the ritual members. In one sense I can see that whoever was aware was also not powerful enough to deal with all of the Epics in participation. Also I kinda liked a book that didn't follow the formula of 'developing problem and later resolution'. I mean, It's refreshing to read this as a history... not a lesson in D&D game mechanics. So all in all I'm torn!



I'd actually discussed this with my editor, and we both agreed it would have been nice, but it also would have distracted from an already-overlong story that was tough to fit in with the word count as it was.

If it helps, I'd had some scenes planned out but unwritten--the few who did notice things going on hit the high magic shield set up by the 3 HMs of Miyeritar (the first step in any collective ritual, as stated in CORMANTHYR but not the novel).

Another note I didn't get to follow up on was this--Khelben's Moonstars who weren't in the ritual were out there in the Realms distracting those of power levels who might've disturbed the ritual.

quote:

6- Since the raised city is the Library City of Miyeritar is there any possibility we will get to see it relate to Kraanhoafer's (sp?) Door?



Oh, the 3 GMs are the only ones who know how to open the door. They'll be making use of it soon enough.

Steven

Mod edit: Fixed the coding that was making the texy funky and blue.

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com

Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 21 Oct 2006 03:24:43
Go to Top of Page

Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1686 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2006 :  03:19:08  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
George took care of that other question.

quote:
Originally posted by Dhomal
Another thought I had - in a blinding rush - but was apparently dashed in the following section - I saw the taint, the poison, all assembling in the Frostrune's body - and had a mental image of a re-born Moander, somewhat as a dichotomy to the good being done. I am happy to say that this does not seem to be the case - though I could have seen it easilly. :)



Not an idea I'd had, but it'd work for anyone's campaign if they so chose. The image I was going for was more akin to a Wicker Man (aka the Forbidden Binding mentioned by the priest). Priamon got all the corruptive energy poured into him. It destroyed his current form, but the energy was still there. And now all that energy can be used by Halaster, the author hints evilly....

quote:

In any case - this is one of the best books I have read in a long while. I would recomend it to any Realms fan! As (IIRC) Wooly said on P1 - I too liked the name "Force Grey" - and was pleased to see the name return, though truth be told - in my game - it would not have changed! (if it ever actually came into play.)

I will admit here - that I teared up and cried a little as I realized what was happening at the end. For the loss of Khelben. For the restoration of Hope. Thats not sometihng that happens often for me. I dont think of myself as 'cold' normally - just that I can usually disconnect emotions while reading fiction - but sometimes - it comes through and bites me! :) The only other point I can clearly remember this happening is near the end of the 6th Thomas Covenant book. It is, in my opinion - a Great accolade to place on you - having made me cry. (*And I was at Work of all places, my lunch almost over!*)

I eagerly await reading more from you. Sourcebooks, Novels, whatever it may be. :)

And Oh - to be in a conference call with you and Mr. Boyd and others!

Best regards,

Dhomal



Thank you very much, Dhomal.

As for that conference call, come on up to Ann Arbor Michigan the weekend before Thanksgiving to U-Con and you can conference with Ed and Paul Kemp too!

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
Go to Top of Page

Dhomal
Senior Scribe

USA
565 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2006 :  04:42:57  Show Profile Send Dhomal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend


Thank you very much, Dhomal.

As for that conference call, come on up to Ann Arbor Michigan the weekend before Thanksgiving to U-Con and you can conference with Ed and Paul Kemp too!

Steven



Hello-

I recall hearing about that at GenCon IIRC, and it is Very tempting! However - working in retail means time off in Nov and Dec can be dicey. However - the actual issue is more of a monetary one. :( Today - 4 new tires for the car, as well as alignment! And even if money was not an issue - I'm not sure how I would feel driving that far (which is not really That far) with my car - I'm about 10 miles short of 265K on it, so I tend to be wary of longer trips! LOL

That all being said - I'm not totally ignoring the idea!

What days/times would be the best if I decided to come? I could justify it more if I only had 1 night in a hotel. :)

Id the Mongolian Grill still in Ann Arbor, BTW?

Dhomal

I am collecting the D&D Minis. I would be more than willing to trade with people. You can send me a PM here with your email listed - and I can send you my minis list. Thanks!

Successfully traded with Xysma!
Go to Top of Page

Beirnadri Magranth
Senior Scribe

USA
720 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2006 :  05:12:41  Show Profile  Visit Beirnadri Magranth's Homepage Send Beirnadri Magranth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As is often the case, your intriguing answers have provoked more questions than I originally entertained.
I feel change and activity beneath the surface here and I'm looking forward to the consequences of the recent novels such as Blackstaff and Final Gate etc.

"You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory... instead you will die with a whimper."
::moussaoui tries to interrupt::
"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

-Judge Brinkema
Go to Top of Page

Frethesh
Acolyte

Germany
2 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2006 :  22:05:51  Show Profile  Visit Frethesh's Homepage Send Frethesh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Greetings!

Well, I am in RPG for about 20 years by now. Therefore I do have a library of some fantasy-
stuff. I linger in the Realms since the release of Neverwinter Nights and consumed quite a
few books and setting-lore of WOTC, mainly 'cause I stumbled over the role of a elven wizard at
the coastside of the winding water river in a PW of NWN.
However, there was a source called "The Fall of Myth Drannor" and having read the books about
Elminster (btw I have a cat here named so) I dashed through the pages to see how he tried to
prevent the city's fate.
There was it, but I also read something on a person whose hybris (and not a lost track of
Cvor, no offense Mr. Schend), by the time he confronted Colonel Cvor, has caused him to fail
and fall.
Since he "who magic, duty, and honor defines" was a Chosen of Mystra (I did read they live
longer than custom to their race but also may die of age?) I hurried to get some knowledge
about this "Nameless Chosen" who was named "Akhelben" Arun's Son by his elven nurse.
Indeed a creative name. So I read on and found some weird things concerning
persona-mixes or a evtl. relative in a cross-over to the Greyhawk-universe and a comment that
this persona agreed to mimic as the other...? (would be glad if someone out there may hint me
to the "truth" of this, it sounds like a fix to me; similar to the spell-namings involving
Mordenkainen, Bigby, etc...?)
Somewhere I read that Khelben was an apprentice of Elminster, I wonder if that was true?
--------------------
So as the time went past I finally had to see which books I should read on my honeymoon vacation.
Guess what I found when I searched the bookshelves...?
Just to mention: I will NEVER forget these holidays, Mr. Schend!
;-)
That was a fitting story to an epic event!
Sadly the episode of his nameing and the part of his life when he learned to weave magic
was not in your story, esp. the story in Myth Drannor would have been worth a glimpse...
:-(
--------------------
So, but now for the reasons (beyond my applause for your work Mr. Schend) for my post here:
- Since my mage (well known by now, as far I can boast) still sits at the end of the winding
water river and the High Moor is not that far a distance.. I guess there is a chance for him
to be a part of one of the outer circles? As far as I know there was no complete name-count
for the mages who joined the "Blackstaff Ritual"?
- Since I read the whole scroll posted here and someone did the work already, may I get the
list of known mages involved in the "Blackstaff Ritual" with their items and positions?
- For the City of Hope:
I want facts! :-)
Here some of my personal interest:
Will WOTC come up with a factbook? (surely with more novels on this city, 'cause this is
plain new playground for authors?)
According to the Novel, the sentinel-towers of the city bear certain different functions?
What are the names of those towers and their Hope-Blades?
Did those blades gain new features during the ritual in the way the elven-family-blades were
fitted with a new feature by a new wielder of their family?
What are the protectice properties or "sharn-properties" of the streets and the city-walls?
How are they supposed to be triggered?
How can an adventurer find this "Avalon"-City?
- The "Blackstaff-Ritual" reminded me of the one I read on the weaving used to veil
the capital of Cormanthor in its Mythal. There also had to be a "living sacrifice", who
became some kind of guardian in this artwork.
Now, Mr. Schend, with the sharn involved in the city streets+wall, was the similarity
to that mythal-creation a "intended coincidence"?
And by picking up another thought from this scroll: Is the raising of a mythal "evil"
cause it needs a "living sacrifice"?
- Since I just also finished The Last Mythal 1; is the City of Hope also going to be
shielded by a mythal? It seems fit, cause high-magic was used to raise it and there
are many powerful wizards who would appreciate the benefits of a mythal for their studies..

Oh my, this post is longer than I intended, but there was so much I wanted to tell...
Though I am no native to this language I do hope that my questions somehow got their points.

Looking forward to new stories from your pen Mr. Schend,
N.F.
Go to Top of Page

Beirnadri Magranth
Senior Scribe

USA
720 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2006 :  06:06:37  Show Profile  Visit Beirnadri Magranth's Homepage Send Beirnadri Magranth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend


Nope; Gamalon's the first D&D character I ever created or played. He was also the first character I wrote into the Realms as a professional writer (in a Dragon article on Spelljamming items).


I really love that. How appropriate. It must be very satisfying to have a personal creation persist for so long.

quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend


Well, Sememmon's got a long road to hoe before he gets anywhere near being called good. Ashemmi's a lot more neutral; think of her as slighly more to the dark side of the way Khelben used to be, and that's closer to the mark. I'd LOVE to write more with them, but don't know when I'll get the chance.


Good, I hope you get a chance eventually.


quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend


Priamon was necessary for the process that Khelben set up; once that was accomplished (the killing storms released and transformed, the worst of it going into Priamon), the high magic rituals (two of them) didn't need him, and Khelben had set up a backdoor for Halaster to claim Priamon when it was done (that whole sending the bird down into Undermountain scene with M. Wands).

Yes, it's a bit of a tangle time-wise, but that was what I intended.


You know what, I didnt even think of the rituals as separate. That makes a TON more sense. I think I'm gunna second that request for the ritual being detailed somewhere in the future. In the meantime, you're saying Priamon just initiated the magic coming up and didn't play a role otherwise. And lastly, I forgot about Khelben's sending.

quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend


Well, not to disagree, but Priamon's not dead. Halaster's far more imaginative than that, and it does neither of them any good to simply destroy him. Besides, his phylactery's intact--just in the hands of the person who most wants to hurt him. And that's going to be a learning experience for him.

A little dark? Yes, true. And that was Khelben in a nutshell--how to protect the most, punish those who deserve it, and don't get hung up on what others expect about things.


I'm kind of frightened by Halaster and what he could do to and with Priamon. But I think I might be more frightened by you saying "learning experience" as if he has a future...


quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend


I'd actually discussed this with my editor, and we both agreed it would have been nice, but it also would have distracted from an already-overlong story that was tough to fit in with the word count as it was.

If it helps, I'd had some scenes planned out but unwritten--the few who did notice things going on hit the high magic shield set up by the 3 HMs of Miyeritar (the first step in any collective ritual, as stated in CORMANTHYR but not the novel).

Another note I didn't get to follow up on was this--Khelben's Moonstars who weren't in the ritual were out there in the Realms distracting those of power levels who might've disturbed the ritual.


The description of the shielding of the weave during teh casting reminds me of how programmers protect their sites while they are working on them. A very thoughtful addition to the culture of High magic but I should have expected that kind of responsibility being exhibited by the High Mages. If you can I would like to know anything about these 3HMs At the very least a native city or house/clan name if possible. Not to be a pain but if you're not burdened by an NDA can you give us an idea of who was aware/ trying to intercept the ritual? I think it would be easy to retcon any of this into the campaign world seeing as the story was somewhat narrated by people involved in other areas of the ritual besides the defense.

In response to the blurb about the Tel'Teukiira, do you see a main function of this group to be the unwitting role in this ritual? And I know it seems pedantic but, what are some ways that they distracted (although I can imagine some, I didnt know if you had any stories that you wanted to share with us, especially if you had taken the time to plan this out a little and not been able to include it in the book.


quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend


Oh, the 3 GMs are the only ones who know how to open the door. They'll be making use of it soon enough.



I'm gunna treat this as a promise of lore to come!


and lastly, I forgot to say I was pleasantly surprised by the vocabulary of the book. I consider myself a wiz on vocab expecially with d&d reinforcing archaic words that I otherwise wouldnt see.... but you threw in a couple that I had to look up. Nice job.

"You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory... instead you will die with a whimper."
::moussaoui tries to interrupt::
"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

-Judge Brinkema
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 7 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2022 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000